Hodo Kwaja

‘Twas the night before any night, when all through Bloor St. a few creatures were stirring, perhaps even a few mice. Storefronts all shone along the sidewalk with care, in hopes that a customer would soon be there… ‘

Ok I won’t paraphrase the whole Christmas song, but an unmistakable feeling of nostalgia and magic stirs every time I pop in to visit Hodo Kwaja for a box of their Korean walnut cakes.

The magic machine

Walk in and the first thing you’ll see is the amazing hodo kwaja machine. Get there at the right time and you can huddle alongside other customers to watch the apparatus in full action. Shipped over from Korea by owner Jong Sik Lee, any slightness in the machine and he’ll know just by sound. Much like Kamaji in Spirited Away, Lee operates his Hodo Kwaja machinery like a true master.

walnut cakes

Hodo Kwaja (walnut cakes) are a delightful snack. These Korean two-bite cakes are traditionally filled with sweet red bean and a piece of walnut then griddled to golden deliciousness.  They are a true comfort food snack and pair splendidly with any warm beverage.

hodo kwaja batter

The cake batter is much like that of a pancake so the hodo kwaja come out soft and plumpy with a perfect blomp of filling.

assembly line

The beginning and end of the assembly line where each hodo kwaja starts with a piece of walnut and comes out as a whole walnut cake – poof!

red bean filling

The red bean filling is prepared by repeatedly boiling and mashing the beans to create a smooth paste which is sweetened with white sugar.

potato filling

The potato filling is a unique Western flavor created by Lee which is made by mashing potatoes with brown sugar and milk with a choice of added walnuts or almonds.

Walnut cakes aren’t the only delights Hodo Kwaja is known for: Stay tuned for my next post on Exploding Korean Pancakes and until then ‘Happy hodo kwaja to all, and to all a good night.’

Location: 656 Bloor St. West Toronto. Tel: 416.538.1208

Visit Hodo Kwaja’s webpage: www.hodokwaja.ca

Visit my Korean street food page: www.facebook.com/foodquestTV

Categories: 2014

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3 replies »

  1. I adore this littles yummi artworks! You really are very talented! I d like to do some myself but i dont live in korea and dont know how to get the pepero molds and tools! Do you know a website where i can order those accessories online and ship them to my country! I did some search but cudnt find any! I appreciate your help! I am big fan of what you do! Keep up the CUTE work! stallion group nigeria

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